Delivery failures plague Treasury market
The credit crisis is causing a growing number of delivery failures with Treasury securities.
The latest data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed that cumulative failures hit a record $2.29 trillion as of Oct. 1. The federal settlement period is T+1 (trade date plus one day).
The outstanding U.S. public debt is $10.3 trillion.
"Current [fail] levels are at historic levels," said Rob Toomey, managing director of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association's funding and government and agency securities divisions. "There's been significant flight to quality" with the market turmoil, he said.
With the strong demand for Treasury securities, "some of the entities that bought Treasuries are not making them available in the [repurchase] market, which is the traditional way to get them," Mr. Toomey said.
Unlike some past bouts with high failure rates that involved particular bond issues, the current high fails involve all types of maturities, he said.